The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has released its updated COVID-19 guidance for K-12 schools and child care. 

According to DOH, the guidance takes lessons learned from the first two-and-a-half years of the pandemic, and outlines both required and recommended measures for the 2022-23 school year to help reduce COVID-19 transmission in school and child care settings.

Kalama School District families can expect limited changes compared to last year’s guidance, with a focus on keeping things simple. 

Clarified requirements and recommendations in this school year’s guidance include:

  • Students and staff who show symptoms of COVID-19 are required to stay home, and should get tested for COVID-19 (Click here to view the most recent DOH Symptom Flowchart).
  • Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate at home for 5 days. If symptoms improve and they have had no fever for the past 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications, students and staff can come back to school if they test negative after the 5th full day of isolation. (Updated Sept. 2022)
  • It is recommended, but not required, that students and staff returning to school after their 5 days of isolation:
    • wear a well-fitted mask from days 6 to 10, and
    • remain masked for sports and other extracurricular activities on days 6 to 10.
  • Students and staff who test positive after 5 days of isolation must stay at home for the full 10-day isolation period.
  • Schools must inform students, families and staff when there are cases or outbreaks in school (our district will continue to share weekly COVID-19 activity reports with all school families via email).

These requirements are in place for all public and private K-12 schools and child care facilities in Washington state. A more detailed summary of the updated guidance is outlined in the KSD COVID-19 Safety Plan.